As I was thinking on the theme, I realize that I cannot but start at the beginning. What is essential when one starts to homeschool or even considers homeschooling?
I came up with one word: Conviction.
The basic essential of homeschooling is a strong conviction that this is what God calls you to do. Trust me the road is going to be tough. Discouragement, frustrations, feeling of inadequacy, all of it will flood your mind at some point on the journey. Homeschooling demands perseverance, and perseverance is fueled by commitment and faith that the One who called you to the task will give you grace to achieve it and complete it.
Before getting to that conviction though, one needs to have a good understanding of what homescholing is and what it entails.
Homeschooling is not for everyone. Homeschooling is not the only way of educating our kids. That said, I do believe that homeschooling is one of the best ways, if one can.
When I first started homeschooling I read books that told me that homeschooling is a choice, it is a commitment to God and to our kids' education. A commitment to be there for them 24 hours. I read that it was not easy, but I also read that it was rewarding. I read that it was an investment, and as such you labor and don't always see the fruits right away. I entered into this homeschooling thing fully aware that it was not going to be a smooth, pretty, rounded journey. And I have to say I was glad I did know that, because I was not dissillusioned. But, I believed and still believe that this is where God wants me, and therefore, I will perseverance by His grace.
Another thing to realize about homeschooling is that, as you have noticed me refering to it, it is a journey. Homeschooling is a long-term project. One cannot let himself be bugged down by the here and now, but one has to learn to be focused on the end-goal.
One more thing to mention in regards to why you need that conviction, is the fact that you will come accross opposition and challenges. That opposition could be straight foward (a family member that vocally disagrees with you), or more subtle (people looking at you funny, material problems). You will constantly find people asking you, "Why are you doing this?" What are you going to say? The answer to that question will be closely related to the conviction that you have to start with. It will keep you on your feet, and unwavering in front of the uncertainties and challenges of life and others.
So, with all of this in mind, do you see why I talk about the need of a convition? How can one endure all of this and reamain focused, unless he has that deep strong conviction that what he is doing is what he is supposed to be doing?
So then as we reflect on the theme of "Homeschool Essentials" I believe that step number one is an understanding that homeschooling demands sacrifice and therefore requires commitment and perserance.
Considering homeschooling or need a refresher, here are 2 ressources to get you going:
Educating the Whole-Hearted Child By Sally and Clay Clarkson
Complete Guide to Getting Started Homeschooling by Mary Pride
Now, since I am not the only one reflecting on this topic this week, I invite you to go ahead and read on what other homeschoolers have to share about the Essentials of Homeschooling. Here is a list of 9 but make sure to also check the full list on the Schoolhouse Review blog.
Marcy @ Ben and Me
Lisa @ Golden Grasses
Tess @ Circling Through This Life
Victoria @ Homemaking with Heart
Kayla @ The Arrowood Zoo
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Deanna @ His Treasure Seekers
Melissa @ Grace Christian Homeschool
Beth @ Ozark Ramblings
Rebecca @ Raventhreads
In the series:Day 1: The Basics part I
Day 2: The Basics Part II
Day 3: The Curricula
Day 4: The Attitudes
Day 5: The Extras